Castilla power station
|This article is part of the Global Energy Monitor coverage of Chile and coal|
The Castilla power station was a proposed 2,100 megawatt (MW) coal-fired power station to be operated by MPX Energia SA near Copiapó, III Region, Chile. The plant was approved in Feb. 2011 by Chile’s environment regulator. It would have reportedly cost $4.4 billion, and was to be built on the Pacific Coast 700 kilometers (435 miles) north of Santiago, to feed into Chile’s central power grid and serve northern Chile’s copper mines. MPX's owner, billionaire Eike Batista, said Castilla would be the largest power station in Chile. Chile’s Supreme Court rejected plans to build the plant in August 2012.
The map below shows Copiapó, the approximate location where the plant would be built.
In a media release MPX stated that "the power plant will be developed in 350 MW modules and the project also includes an independent water desalination plant capable of producing 740 liters per second. The option of supplying energy and water jointly will give MPX Castilla a competitive advantage, as regional mining companies often have difficulty acquiring the water supply needed for their operations."
The company stated that power from the new power station would supply the Central Interconnected System ("SIC") "the most important electric system in the country. The region served by the SIC accounts for approximately 90% of Chile's GDP and 92% of its population. A competitive advantage of the power plant would have been its integration with a dedicated, deep-water port that would help ensure an efficient coal supply at competitive costs. The port, an EBX Group Project, was granted an environmental license on December 23, 2010."
On August 28, 2012, Chile’s Supreme Court rejected plans to build the plant and an associated port, ruling that the project’s Brazilian and German investors failed to prove they could protect the surrounding environment. MPX had promised $575 million to mitigate pollution from the plant, which would have been 2,100 megawatts by 2020, but the court found MPX failed to persuade Chileans they could live with the contamination.
In September 2010, roughly 2000 people gathered for a march protesting the Castilla plant. A November 2010 poll found that a large majority of the Chilean population - more than 77 percent - disapproved of the plant, and were willing to pay more for environmentally friendly energy, a figure that increases in the upper classes. The poll was conducted by the conservative Jaime Guzman Foundation and included interviews with 506 people across the country's Metropolitan Region.
- Sponsor: E.ON & MPX
- Parent company:
- Location: Copiapó, III Region, Chile
- Coordinates: -27.3666667, -70.3333333 (approximate)
- Unit 1: Cancelled
- Unit 2: Cancelled
- Unit 3: Cancelled
- Unit 4: Cancelled
- Unit 5: Cancelled
- Unit 6: Cancelled
- Gross Capacity:
- Unit 1: 350MW
- Unit 2: 350MW
- Unit 3: 350MW
- Unit 4: 350MW
- Unit 5: 350MW
- Unit 6: 350MW
- Projected in service:
- Coal Type:
- Coal Source:
- Source of financing:
Articles and resources
- "Chile Regulator Approves MPX’s $4.4 Billion Coal Project" Bloomberg, February 25, 2011.
- MPX, "MPX Granted Environmental License for Central Castilla Generación", Media Release, February 25, 2011.
- "Chile court blocks Batista’s power project," The Financial Times, August 29, 2012.
- "Chile top court rejects $5 bln Castilla power project," Reuters, August 29, 2012.
- "Massive March Against Castilla Thermoelectric" , Climate Connections, September 6, 2010.
- Lucia Bird, "Majority Of Chileans Disapprove Of Castilla Coal-Burning Plant, Says Poll" The Santiago Times, Dec. 10, 2010.